Establish & Manage An “Effective Compliance Program”
Effective compliance programs (ECP) are by nature tailor-made. No two organizations — even within the same industry — should have a categorically identical program. Stratagem Law Group, PLLC, provides clients with essential insight and guidance on what processes and standards are needed to obtain an ECP. We work with your officers and directors to establish a compliance identity that works for you and your organization without jeopardizing the ECP goal or your culture.
On the road to establishing a successful and effective compliance program, consider these stops along the way:
Standards Of Conduct
At the core of an effective compliance program is an organization’s clear and concise standards of conduct (SOC). The SOC, with internal controls, must be reasonably capable of reducing the likelihood of criminal and other improper conduct. That means that in addition to their mere adoption and existence, they are appropriate to the scope of the organization and its industry.
Leadership And Organizational Governance Involvement
Successful programs are achieved by successful teams. Compliance is a culture and must be attended to daily. After assessments and goals are identified, it is important that leaders allocate significant and adequate resources to achieve those goals.
Reasonable Efforts To Exclude Bad Actors
A major sign of an organization that takes compliance seriously is observed by screening, auditing, reporting and disciplinary mechanisms. Although termination is sometimes an inevitable solution for compliance missteps, there are a variety of solutions that should be incorporated in a performance improvement toolkit. Adapting interventions for propriety given a situation is the sign of a skilled organization with an effective plan.
Organizations who overemphasize terminations or “zero tolerance” policy ultimately find their compliance implementation process hardened and in some cases become involved in unnecessary and expensive employment litigation issues.
Ongoing And Measurable Training And Education
An effective training program emphasizes areas of high risk. High-risk areas include industry- or discipline-specific areas that show high rates of mistakes as well as organizational specific risk areas.
Identifying what systems display high risk and the appropriate education content, frequency and deployment is an art in and of itself. When this system is properly implemented and managed well, compliance outcomes can be enhanced tenfold.
Monitoring, Auditing & Evaluating (MAE)
Effective compliance programs incorporate best practices as approaches and elements. The way each of these practices or approaches fits into an organization’s structure and culture cannot be overemphasized. Like a suite, something off the rack may or may not cover you, but a tailor-made suit is more effective, comfortable and looks good on you!
Stratagem Law Group, PLLC, is here to provide valuable legal support and guidance in an area that has not been well-defined. Clients can expect solutions that fit comfortably within their organizations with a resulting efficacy that is unmatched.
“Corporate Compliance” And Being “Compliant” Are Not The Same
In 1991, the U.S. Sentencing Commission established the most recognized standards for an effective program within the Sentencing Guidelines Manual (“Guidelines”). The Guidelines closely align with rationale developed by governmental agencies over time. They are all encompassing and cover all commercial industries from banking to health care.
There is no “one-size-fits all” solution to compliance; however, the Guidelines function as a roadmap for organizations to comply with compliance standards at the scope and level of their operations. The program should be frequently reviewed, evaluated, updated and amended to promote appropriate application of the Guidelines’ requirements.
Too often, executives are expected to execute a complex oversight program spanning multiple disciplines and trades. The truth is compliance management is a skill and expertise all its own. Skilled compliance experts are charged with ensuring oversight, monitoring and auditing systems are in place to control risk and mitigate damages that may occur when industry best practices or administrative regulations are not followed or enforced.
An effective compliance program and staff possess the skills to:
- Identify enterprise risk
- Prioritize and execute monitoring protocols
- Adapt policy and procedure
- Appropriately inform, educate and adequately involve corporate governing bodies
Nonprofit Organizations And Corporate Compliance
Corporate compliance is not a uniquely for-profit company focus. In addition to the social and legal responsibilities nonprofits are expected to adhere to, NFP should also place compliance as a non-negotiable priority.
Stratagem Law Group, PLLC, offers a range of services designed around effective corporate compliance for all industries. Our firm guides organizations in implementing compliance processes and helps your business thrive with the expectations of your governing regulatory agency falling neatly into place.
We have experience handling issues and agreements with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), various Office of Inspector General (OIG) agency divisions, and hearings under the various agencies, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Health Care Compliance
Health care is a notoriously regulated industry with medical facilities and institutions requiring compliance programs. Often, “compliance programs” are confused with compliance with federal regulations. They are not the same.
Founding attorney Matthew T. Macklin has a wealth of experience and can recognize opportunities and faults within your organization’s operations and compliance program. Mr. Macklin’s 20 years of business and operations acumen and legal experience enable him to thread the needle that gets organizations as close to their operational goals without unnecessarily exposing them to risk.
As any operator can attest, the greatest deterrent from gaining legal or compliance input is the dreaded and inevitable “NO.”
Compliance is not intended to be a burden. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be with skilled planning and implementation.
Addressing Alleged Violations
Even one potential violation of a regulatory guideline can be disastrous for your business. Federal sentencing guidelines detail large fines as well as organizational sanctions and probation if found to be in violation. If you have a thorough compliance program established, the penalties for a violation or multiple violations may be less severe.
Stratagem is skilled in guiding you through your options and obligations. Whether you are establishing an effective program to avoid technical billing violations at their onset or mitigating the impact before self-reporting and repaying funds, we are here to help you find the best solution.
Train And Support Chief Compliance Officers And Staff
Effective Compliance Management is the cornerstone of meeting the requirements of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Stratagem Law Group, PLLC, will provide the plan, execution and legal support necessary to place your organization in a position of strength. Regardless of the state of your current program – or lack thereof – Stratagem has the skills, experience and bandwidth to move you forward aggressively.
Some organizations choose to combine the roles of General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Although the skills of one certainly overlap the other, assuming that an attorney is naturally trained and skilled in compliance would be a mistake. Compliance officers and executives are often tasked with establishing and managing compliance programs that protect the business and maintain compliance with guidelines and laws. Professionals in this position can benefit from the assistance of an experienced corporate compliance lawyer.